Kevin Mathews, LHP, HS, GA
PG HT/WT 2011: 5.11/175
MLB HT/WT 2011: 5.11/180
PG HT/WT 2010: 5.10/165
Perfect Game (from 2010 National Showcase, 6/10)
"# 142. Kevin Matthews is a 2011 LHP/OF with a 5-10 165 lb. frame from Richmond Hill, GA who attends Richmond Hill. Smaller frame with some present strength. Well paced delivery with clean easy arm circle, accelerates well to the plate, quick arm through release, bit cross bodied, 3/4's release point, repeats mechanics very well. Steady 88-90 mph fastball gets on hitters quickly, big sweeping mid 70's curveball with very good size/depth, nice sink on change up. Good feel for all his pitches and how to locate. Should dominate LHH'ers at the next level and be immediately successful. Good student, verbal commitment to Virginia."
Velo from PG WWBA World Championship (10/10):
SL (?): 83
" 105. Kevin Matthews, lhpRichmond Hill (Ga.) HS
In a down year for Georgia, high school pitching was particularly weak. Matthews jumped out, and not just because his athleticism allows him to dunk a basketball despite his 5-foot-10, 160-pound frame. He's a slight but quick-armed pitcher whose fastball has touched 94-95 mph, though he's usually in the 87-90 range. He has not shown the ability to sustain above-average velocity with any consistency. His tight curveball gives him a solid-average secondary pitch. He hasn't shown much of a changeup. Matthews' handle on Twitter is "UVAbound11," which gives a hint at the strength his Virginia commitment. While some scouts compare him to such recent draft picks as Kasey Kiker and Robbie Ross (both now in the Rangers system), others liken him more to lefthanded relievers such as Billy Wagner (obviously with less velocity). The consensus is that he's a future reliever due to the effort in his delivery."
"Matthews is a very slight, unphysical left-hander with a strong commitment to Virginia who profiles best as a reliever in pro ball. He'll touch 94 but sits with an average fastball and lacks projection in his frame. The breaking ball comes and goes but will flash plus. He's a good athlete but an optimistic projection only gets him to an average fastball and he doesn't look like he'll be durable when going every fifth day."
"Size doesn't matter, it's the motion"
Now read this blurb carefully and tell me if you think a. Frankie is a Rangers' homer; b. Frankie may or may not have seen the kid last year, but certainly not this year; c. The "scouts in the area" he is talking about are the same "sources" we happen to be reading as well; d., the last sentence is awkwardly constructed and a classic example of the use of the "passive voice"; or e., all of the above:
"Sleeper: Most in the industry were surprised when Texas called Kevin Matthews’ name at 33rd overall. But, most of the initial reaction was very positive to the selection. Matthews has a smallish 5-foot-11 frame and is not overpowering, as he sat 88-90 mph with his fastball last summer, but it’s the advanced feel for pitching and his secondary pitches that leaves scouts impressed. Reports from scouts in the area have said that Matthews has shown more velocity this spring, and with that velocity coming around he has a chance to be a unique high school lefty with a combination of stuff and feel."
Fagg on Matthews:
"There are always exceptions to a rule and I think this kid is," said Kip Fagg, Rangers' director of amateur scouting. "This kid pitches with a chip and I like that...He's very athletic and a kid whose makeup is special," Fagg said. "We see big upside with him in a small frame. He's got athleticism, three-pitch mix, strikes, competitiveness. There are a lot of things you can say are special with this kid."